Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2019
I needed an automatic door closer to prevent our cats and dogs from opening certain doors. The first picture shows one of our cats trying to open the door. All she needs to do is tap the door handle and the door pops open, then she can push the door fully open. Our poodle has figured out how to open doors that need a pull or a push, and she sometimes even closes the door after she enters the room. (I have a video, but it is an unsupported file type.)
As other reviewers have noted, the door closer hinge is slightly thicker than other common hinges. I've included two pictures. The one with the piece of paper between the hinge plates is the AmazonBasics self-closing door hinge. The other one is the one I replaced. The extra thickness was not a big concern. As you can see in the vertical picture of the original hinge with the door closed, there's a gap between the door and the door frame.
The first source of potential confusion is the bag of screws. It contains 11 screws, 6 wood screws and 5 metal screws. I don't know why Amazon included the 5 metal screws. Maybe they are intended to use with a metal door frame? But, then there should have been 6 of them, not 5. In any event, you probably need to use only the 6 wood screws.
As the next picture shows, the 6 wood screws are slightly longer and wider than the original hinge's screws. This helps it grip the wood better. (You also have the option of using the screws you removed with the original hinges.)
Next, the major source of confusion is the instructions. The instructions have two drawings, A and B, but refer only to A. Drawing A refers to a Tension Adjustment Rod (TAR) and Tension Stopper Pin (TSP), but the instructions refer only to TSP in addition to the hex wrench. There's no mention to TAR. Apparently, whoever wrote the instructions never tried installing one of these hinges.
Here's the correct instructions for installing the hinge: First, install the AmazonBasics hinge with the hex hole in the top position. Note that the manufacturer's pictures in the Amazon listing all incorrectly show the hinge's hex hole on the bottom. Second, put the hex wrench in the hex hole, pointing to the right. Move the hex wrench clockwise from right to left. Be careful, as the hinge will be under tension from an internal spring. You might want to wear gloves to protect your hands. As you turn the hex wrench, it will expose a series of holes in the hinge. Put the TAR (long rod) in the rightmost hole and let the hinge press it against the right side. This use of the TAR is temporary, while you test the door closing function. If the door does not close well, you'll need to reinsert the hex wrench in the hex hole, point to the right and move it to the left, to increase the tension even more. Move the TAR to the rightmost hole and test again. You can do this a few times before the tension on the hex wrench is too much. If that's still not enough, you'll probably need a second self-closing hinge for the door. Once you have adjusted the tension to your liking, use the hex wrench to turn it a bit to the left and hold it while you replace the TAR with one of the two TAPs from the bag. These are shorter pins. If everything is lined up, you should be able to insert the pin so that the end is flush with the surface of the hinge. I decided to have a little excess beyond the surface, as shown in the last picture, to make it easier to remove the pin if it needs adjustment later.
This works well. If you open the door about 30 degrees, the door will close on its own and the latch will click.
But, if you don't open the door that much, as typically occurs when a dog or cat tries to open the door by tapping on the door handle to pop the latch, it will close but not relatch. Still, it worked for my purpose, as the force from the spring closing the door was enough to keep the door almost closed, even though it didn't fully latch, and the dog and cats weren't able to push the door open (or were dissuaded by the resistance.)
There were several reasons why I didn't replace the lever door knobs with round door knobs. First, it defeats the purpose of having lever door knobs (e.g., handicap accessibility). Second, the poodle is able to grab the door knob with her mouth and open the door that way. She's also able to defeat various child-proofing mechanisms.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Works well, if you ignore the installation instructions
By Mark Kantrowitz on December 15, 2019
I needed an automatic door closer to prevent our cats and dogs from opening certain doors. The first picture shows one of our cats trying to open the door. All she needs to do is tap the door handle and the door pops open, then she can push the door fully open. Our poodle has figured out how to open doors that need a pull or a push, and she sometimes even closes the door after she enters the room. (I have a video, but it is an unsupported file type.)
As other reviewers have noted, the door closer hinge is slightly thicker than other common hinges. I've included two pictures. The one with the piece of paper between the hinge plates is the AmazonBasics self-closing door hinge. The other one is the one I replaced. The extra thickness was not a big concern. As you can see in the vertical picture of the original hinge with the door closed, there's a gap between the door and the door frame.
The first source of potential confusion is the bag of screws. It contains 11 screws, 6 wood screws and 5 metal screws. I don't know why Amazon included the 5 metal screws. Maybe they are intended to use with a metal door frame? But, then there should have been 6 of them, not 5. In any event, you probably need to use only the 6 wood screws.
As the next picture shows, the 6 wood screws are slightly longer and wider than the original hinge's screws. This helps it grip the wood better. (You also have the option of using the screws you removed with the original hinges.)
Next, the major source of confusion is the instructions. The instructions have two drawings, A and B, but refer only to A. Drawing A refers to a Tension Adjustment Rod (TAR) and Tension Stopper Pin (TSP), but the instructions refer only to TSP in addition to the hex wrench. There's no mention to TAR. Apparently, whoever wrote the instructions never tried installing one of these hinges.
Here's the correct instructions for installing the hinge: First, install the AmazonBasics hinge with the hex hole in the top position. Note that the manufacturer's pictures in the Amazon listing all incorrectly show the hinge's hex hole on the bottom. Second, put the hex wrench in the hex hole, pointing to the right. Move the hex wrench clockwise from right to left. Be careful, as the hinge will be under tension from an internal spring. You might want to wear gloves to protect your hands. As you turn the hex wrench, it will expose a series of holes in the hinge. Put the TAR (long rod) in the rightmost hole and let the hinge press it against the right side. This use of the TAR is temporary, while you test the door closing function. If the door does not close well, you'll need to reinsert the hex wrench in the hex hole, point to the right and move it to the left, to increase the tension even more. Move the TAR to the rightmost hole and test again. You can do this a few times before the tension on the hex wrench is too much. If that's still not enough, you'll probably need a second self-closing hinge for the door. Once you have adjusted the tension to your liking, use the hex wrench to turn it a bit to the left and hold it while you replace the TAR with one of the two TAPs from the bag. These are shorter pins. If everything is lined up, you should be able to insert the pin so that the end is flush with the surface of the hinge. I decided to have a little excess beyond the surface, as shown in the last picture, to make it easier to remove the pin if it needs adjustment later.
This works well. If you open the door about 30 degrees, the door will close on its own and the latch will click.
But, if you don't open the door that much, as typically occurs when a dog or cat tries to open the door by tapping on the door handle to pop the latch, it will close but not relatch. Still, it worked for my purpose, as the force from the spring closing the door was enough to keep the door almost closed, even though it didn't fully latch, and the dog and cats weren't able to push the door open (or were dissuaded by the resistance.)
There were several reasons why I didn't replace the lever door knobs with round door knobs. First, it defeats the purpose of having lever door knobs (e.g., handicap accessibility). Second, the poodle is able to grab the door knob with her mouth and open the door that way. She's also able to defeat various child-proofing mechanisms.
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